Few things in education remain as shrouded in mystery as giftedness. Misunderstood as a term that only relates high achieving students, most people fail to identify the true nature of giftedness.

The Fall 2009 edition of Gifted Children’s Quarterly (GCQ)  identified nineteen popular myths related to giftedness.  These myths aren’t new.  In fact, a 1982 edition of the same publication originally identified many of these concerns. And yet, despite advocacy, research and the support of organizations like the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the mythology continues.  Worse, perpetuation of these myths serves only to distort the true needs of gifted children and maintain the status quo in education.

Additionally, parents of gifted children are equally misunderstood as they begin to think that they are the reason for some of the difficulties they face raising these intense children, rather than receiving acknowledgement and support for the true frustrations they typically experience.

I thought I’d use to the next few weeks to highlight the more major myths and discuss the evidence-based realities of giftedness. Expanded information on each of these myths can be found at the NAGC website.

Starting on Friday, I will dissect the following myths in search of the truth about our gifted children:

  • Myth: All children are gifted in some way.
  • Myth: Children who receiving failing grades cannot be gifted.
  • Myth: Children with disabilities cannot be gifted.
  • Myth: Gifted children are happy and socially well-adjusted in school.
  • Myth: Gifted students serve as role models to other students, and raise student achievement for everyone.
  • Myth: Gifted students do not require additional supports in order to be successful.
  • Myth: Teachers regularly challenge all students, so additional enrichment is not necessary for gifted students.

Tune in over the next couple of weeks to find out the truth behind each of these myths!


3 thoughts on “Common myths about giftedness

  1. I tend to think that it is criminal that these myths acutally inform educational direction and instruction. The most penetrating is the notion that “everyone’s gifted” which really is the essence of madness. It is colonisation and imposition; people trying to claim something they are not, and have little knowledge of, but imagine will enrich their “reputation” and standing. If they want to be gifted, then take it all on board, rather than just the “bright side.” Endure the “disintegration”, the “freefall” the “daily crisis”, the “emotional terror” and then after then, see if you’re so ready to usurp and subvert the nature of this label.
    [rant over]

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